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Syst Biol. 2006 Jun;55(3):411-25.

Differentiating between hypotheses of lineage sorting and introgression in New Zealand alpine cicadas (Maoricicada Dugdale).

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  • 1Landcare Research, Private Bag, 92170, Auckland, New Zealand,


Lineage sorting and introgression can lead to incongruence among gene phylogenies, complicating the inference of species trees for large groups of taxa that have recently and rapidly radiated. In addition, it can be difficult to determine which of these processes is responsible for this incongruence. We explore these issues with the radiation of New Zealand alpine cicadas of the genus Maoricicada Dugdale. Gene trees were estimated from four putative independent loci: mitochondrial DNA (2274 nucleotides), elongation factor 1-alpha (1275 nucleotides), period (1709 nucleotides), and calmodulin (678 nucleotides). We reconstructed phylogenies using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods from 44 individuals representing the 19 species and subspecies of Maoricicada and two outgroups. Species-level relationships were reconstructed using a novel extension of gene tree parsimony, whereby gene trees were weighted by their Bayesian posterior probabilities. The inferred gene trees show marked incongruence in the placement of some taxa, especially the enigmatic forest and scrub dwelling species, M. iolanthe. Using the species tree estimated by gene tree parsimony, we simulated coalescent gene trees in order to test the null hypothesis that the nonrandom placement of M. iolanthe among gene trees has arisen by chance. Under the assumptions of constant population size, known generation time, and panmixia, we were able to reject this null hypothesis. Furthermore, because the two alternative placements of M. iolanthe are in each case with species that share a similar song structure, we conclude that it is more likely that an ancient introgression event rather than lineage sorting has caused this incongruence.

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